Church Fathers Book Collection, is it legit


Ante-Nicene Fathers
The Writings of the Fathers
Down to A.D. 325

Volume I. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus Clement of Rome, Mathetes, Polycarp, Ignatius, Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus

Volume II. Fathers of the Second Century [size=]Hermas, Tatian, Theophilus, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria

Volume III. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian Three Parts: I. Apologetic; II. Anti-Marcion; III. Ethical

Volume IV. The Fathers of the Third Century Tertullian Part IV; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen

Volume V. The Fathers of the Third Century Hippolytus; Cyprian; Caius; Novatian; Appendix

Volume VI. The Fathers of the Third Century Gregory Thaumaturgus; Dinysius the Great; Julius Africanus; Anatolius and Minor Writers; Methodius; Arnobius

Volume VII. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, Liturgies

Volume VIII. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages

Volume X. Recently Discovered Additions to Early Christian Literature; Commentaries of Origen The Gospel of Peter, The Diatessaron of Tatian, The Apocalypse of Peter, The Visio Pauli, The Apocalypses of the Virgin and Sedrach, The Testament of Abraham, The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena, The Narrative of Zosimus, The Apology of Aristides, The Epistles of Clement (Complete Text), Origen’s Commentary on John, Books I-X, Origen’s Commentary on Mathew, Books I, II, and X-XIV

[size=5]Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers[/size]
St. Augustine Volumes

**Volume I. **Prolegomena: St. Augustine’s Life and Work, Confessions, Letters

**Volume II. **The City of God, Christian Doctrine

**Volume III. **On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises

**Volume IV. **The Anti-Manichaean Writings, The Anti-Donatist Writings

**Volume V. **Anti-Pelagian Writings

**Volume VI. **Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels

**Volume VII. **Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies

**Volume VIII. **Expositions on the Psalms

St. Chrysostom Volumes

**Volume IX. **On the Priesthood, Ascetic Treatises, Select Homilies and Letters, Homilies on the Statutes

**Volume X. **Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew

**Volume XI. **Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans

**Volume XII. **Homilies on First and Second Corinthians

**Volume XIII. **Homilies on the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon

**Volume XIV. **Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to the Hebrews

Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
Series II

**Volume I. **Eusebius: Church History from A.D. 1-324, Life of Constantine the Great, Oration in Praise of Constantine

**Volume II. **Socrates: Church History from A.D. 305-438; Sozomenus: Church History from A.D. 323-425

**Volume III. **Theodoret, Jerome and Gennadius, Rufinus and Jerome

**Volume IV. **Athanasius: Select Writings and Letters

**Volume V. **Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises; Select Writings and Letters

**Volume VI. **Jerome: Letters and Select Works

**Volume VII. **Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen

**Volume VIII. **Basil: Letters and Select Works

**Volume IX. **Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus

**Volume X. **Ambrose: Select Works and Letters

**Volume XI. **Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian

**Volume XII. **Leo the Great, Gregory the Great

**Volume XIII. **Gregory the Great II, Ephriam Syrus, Aphrahat **Volume XIV. **The Seven Ecumenical Councils

are these books that I should be reading if i want to learn about the early historical Catholic church and what it believed? can someone advise???


The Early Church Fathers (ECF) are ALWAYS good reading and ALWAYS highly recommended. Realize, however, that in many cases, they were writing before a particular doctrine had been formally defined. Thus, for example, you see St. Cyprian writing against the validity of baptism by heretics, whereas the Church later determined that such baptisms were, indeed, valid.

(Such situations are useful in apologetics, however. Anti-Catholics accuse the Church of “purging” the historical record of contrary opinion, but we can prove this false with examples such as Cyprian - who, BTW, is my favorite ECF).

The particular collection you mention was published in 1819 by Philip Schaff. The editors (Roberts & Donaldson) were NOT Catholic, and thus the commentary and footnotes which accompany the ECF’s text is often biased. So take that with a grain of salt.

The quality of some of the translations in some cases is not so good - this was nearly 200 years ago - we’ve come a LONG way in lingustic sciences, and we’ve found additional source materials. So better translations for many of these works are now available. But the differences in quality would be of more interest to the scholar than the layman; for general purpose reading, the translations are fine.

This particular collection is LONG out of copyright protection, meaning anyone may legally copy and distribute the contents. You may read it free online here, and you can sometimes find a CD with the entire collection for about five bucks (that’s what I paid for mine on eBay).


…and in one case (a lengthy passage on marital relations), the translators’ sensitivities were offended, so they decided just to leave that passage in Latin. I don’t know that it’s ever been translated into English. :eek:



This is a good set . . . but . . .

  1. The translations and scholarship is more than 100 years old. In many cases, better ones exist.

  2. There are TWO editions of this set available – the original version, which contains some rather anti-Catholic commentary from Reformed historians, and the Catholic version which omits this commentary.

IMO, the best available Church Fathers material in English is the “Ancient Christian Writers” series. The translations are better, the scholarship is better, the commentary is better, they are not “anti-Catholic” – AND you can purchase them one volume at a time, selecting only those authors you are interested in.


Also the “Fathers of the Church” series–also more modern and accurate and also Catholic.

But the older series is often easier to come by.

As for the Latin passage–this may occur in several places but I know it occurs twice in the edition of Clement of Alexandria (one section of the Pedagogue dealing with marital relations, as Dave said, and one whole book of the Stromata dealing with Gnostic views on sexuality). The works of Clement are available in the Fathers of the Church series, and also in ACW I think. So yes, you can read these “juicy” bits in English.



[quote=Contarini]Also the “Fathers of the Church” series–also more modern and accurate and also Catholic.

But the older series is often easier to come by.

This is an excellent set as well.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit